The Chevron gas station located at Figueroa Street and Exposition Boulevard shuts off its gas pumps today in preparation for the building of a new housing development.
The Icon Plaza, a six-story complex, will replace the gas station and offer luxury living amenities, such as a 24-hour concierge, spa and pool, in addition to laundry, maid and room services.
“We know that there’s some projects now, like University Gateway, so we want to have some shops that are complementary to the existing retail there,” said Billy Ruvelson, principal of The Icon Company. “Whatever retail we have will be community serving and whatever stuff is in demand by ’SC students and faculty.”
Ruvelson said the Icon Plaza will have “competitive pricing” with other housing in the area.
The 100,000 square-foot building will host several retail shops on the ground floor and 56 apartments. The the complex’s exterior will mimic other USC buildings.
“The design will be harmonious with the surrounding buildings. It’ll be architecturally interesting and respectful of the USC buildings surrounding it,” Ruvelson said.
The housing unit will provide up to 250 more beds for USC students.
“I think it’s a good thing that they’re adding housing because it’s expensive to live close to campus — that’s why I drive a few miles every day to get here,” said Julie Zhu, a senior majoring in economics.
The company building the housing development, Forward Progress Management Estate, Inc., controls several other apartments in the Los Angeles area, and is also developing three more properties for other colleges: two at UC Santa Barbara and one at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
“It’s a private company which will offer its own leases for housing students,” said Kristina Raspe, USC associate senior vice president for real estate and asset management.
Yet some students are unhappy with plans for the housing structure and will need to find an alternate station for gas.
“This is the closest gas station to USC,” said Gabrielle Lopez, a junior majoring in communication and a frequent customer of the station. “People are going to have to drive super far to get gas now, and there are other places that you could go build housing. I’m pissed off that they chose to do it here.”
Some Chevron employees said the current workers will probably be transferred nearby, to either the Chevron at Figueroa Street and Washington Boulevard or the station at Figueroa Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard.
The employees also said students come to the station often.
“I use this station every two to three days. It’s the only gas station I use really,” said Alex Uvimolchai, a junior majoring in business. “I pump gas here, fill my tires, buy some food in the mart. It’s very useful to have nearby.”
The Icon Company expects a timeline to be developed in the next month for construction of the 23,000 square-foot lot.